Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief will be deploying teams to Poland for the next several months to help with the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
Roughly 10 million Ukrainians have left their homes in the past month. That’s about one-fourth of the country’s population. According to the United Nations, it’s the largest displacement of Europeans since World War II.
Kentucky Disaster Relief Director Ron Crow said volunteers have been inquiring about being the boots on the ground for several weeks.
“We’ve had a number of people across the state asking if the KBC is going to be involved with the refugee ministry,” he said. “We got the call with Send Relief and will be working through our national partners.”
Kentucky will be partnering with Disaster Relief personnel from Ohio, Mississippi and Louisiana, he said. “Each of us will rotate weeks for the next six months. They will be small teams because housing is limited.”
Ready to be flexible
Crow said volunteers need to be flexible and willing to adjust on the fly depending on the need. “It may be that we run some errands,” he said. “Whatever the church needs us to do.” Team members must be willing to serve in a variety of capacities that could include: custodial, cooking, cleaning, childcare, ministering, transporting, or any other duties as requested.
Of course, sharing the gospel will be a premium need and the refugees are hungry to learn more about Jesus, Crow said. “Opportunities to share the gospel are in abundance.”
Less than 1% of Ukrainians are evangelical Christians, according to Send Relief. IMB missionaries are cultivating gospel access through innovative digital strategies. As of today, more than 5.77 million people have access to the gospel at their fingertips. Through project “Hope for Ukraine,” designated digital responders offer prayer, determine what physical help can be provided, and share the gospel through the one tool we all have in common — mobile devices.
KYDR is being asked to deploy teams to Gdańsk, Poland, and are beginning the process of building several small teams, Crow said. As with any disaster relief deployment, teams could be redirected or asked to stand down at any time.
Requirements to go
And there are some requirements to participate:
- Be a member of a Kentucky Baptist church affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
- Have a current passport.
- Be fully vaccinated with a COVID vaccine card. Fully vaccinated means having the initial one dose Johnson & Johnson, or two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. You do not have to have the booster.
- You must be physically able to walk distances and be on your feet much of the time.
The deployments will be for one week and the cost is $750 plus incidentals and COVID testing. Much of the cost has been taken care of through giving from Kentucky Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program. Credit cards will not be charged until being added to a team. If paying by cash or check, do not submit payment until the application has been accepted.
“We are beginning to accept applications for the teams mentioned above,” Crow said. “Your application will be reviewed within a week, and you will be contacted by a member of our team. While we would love for as many Kentucky Baptists to serve on these teams as possible, we are limited by the housing restrictions, and not all who apply may be able to serve.”
Click HERE to register to pray, give or go by following the tabs. Those who choose to go will be put on a wait list, but that is not a guarantee of going.